To My "Old Lemon" Gubz
Just over a year ago, we were lucky enough to bring you home from BARCS. You came into our lives bruised and broken from a rough past, but full of the most heart I’ve ever experienced in a dog. When we found you at the shelter that day, you had a dent in your head, a hole in your heart and scars all over your face. But to me, you looked perfect.
You showed up at a time in our lives when we needed love and laughs more than anything else. When we first met you, we had just put down our last dog at only two years old, and we were hurting badly. It was as if you somehow knew that we needed stability, healing and love just as much as you did.
Over the first couple of months, we thought the dent in your head was getting somehow more... dented. After all, we all thought it was just a fracture from long ago to compliment that scared-over hole in your chest. But, come April, your dent was undeniably bigger, so I brought you to the vet who referred us to a specialist. We went in for an MRI and a spinal tap; that's when we got the news. You had a tumor on your trigeminal nerve, which had basically caused all those muscles on your face to collapse. We were heartbroken. Your timeline looked really short; most everyone thought you wouldn’t live long enough to make the move out to Arizona the following month.
But, you did, my angel boy. You did. I have no idea how or why we got so lucky to have this time with you, but I’m so happy it’s not done.
We’ve finally been able to show you the good life you’ve deserved for so long. You’ve gotten to run through deserts, hike mountains, go to beer gardens, join parades, camp in forests, tube down rivers, help socialize other doggies, sleep on piles of pillows, kiss babies, swim (okay, maybe just wade), eat doggie ice cream, explore deep into canyons, sunbathe by the river right next to mommy and much more. You have a fan club everywhere you go; after all, how often does one get to meet a cow-hippo-manatee-angel crossbreed?
Nowadays, you may have to sit out on the more physically demanding adventures; you may have to drink out of special spigots and doggie water fountains because the deteriorating muscles in your face make lapping up water impossible; you may not have the stamina to walk more than a block; you may have trouble jumping on the bed or into cars as your body becomes stiffer; and you may no longer be able to hear me tell you how much I love you, but you still cuddle and love like you always have... maybe even better, if that was at all possible.
Even though you came with a short expiration date and a hefty price tag of medical bills, we wouldn't change it. We may have ended up with a lemon, but, my angel boy, you are the best of the bunch. Here’s to the time we have left and to all the love we can soak up together.
Mom (Anna Koehne and Family)
P.S. To all those reading, do yourself a favor and run to BARCS to pick out your new best friend. I may be biased, but I would highly recommend choosing an underdog, or, as I say, an “old lemon” like our Gubz. The secret is that they're actually the sweetest.
If you can’t adopt, please consider a gift to BARCS this Giving Tuesday. They give chances to dogs like mine who might otherwise be cast away or forgotten.
Written by adopter Anna Koehne. This story is part of a series featuring underdogs for #GivingTuesday 2019.